Unplugging to stay connected when life gets busy
Fall is upon us, and life tends to get naturally busier and busier as the year progresses toward its end. Staying connected without overusing technology during a busy fall season can be challenging. The key is to find a balance that works for you and allows you to stay connected while also enjoying the offline moments that contribute to a fulfilling routine.
Intentionality is paramount to achieve your goal of maintaining a healthy balance between your digital life, and your life in the real-world. Here are some tips to help you achieve that:
- Set Designated Tech-Free Zones: Designate certain areas, like your bedroom or dining area, as tech-free zones. This will help you disconnect and focus on activities without the distractions of screens.
- Use Technology Mindfully: When you do use technology, do so with intention. Avoid mindless scrolling and instead engage in meaningful interactions, such as sending personalized messages or having video chats.
- Digital Detox Days: Dedicate occasional full days or weekends to disconnect from technology completely. Use this time to engage in offline activities, reconnect with your loved ones and recharge your soul.
Another practice that can have significant positive effects on your overall well-being, as well as your organization is decluttering. A clutter-free space allows you to focus more easily on tasks and activities at hand. You'll experience improved concentration, leading to increased productivity and a sense of accomplishment. Clutter can feel overwhelming and chaotic. By decluttering, you can regain a sense of order and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed by your surroundings. Tackling the clutter might be intimidating, so it’s important to start small and celebrate small victories, like finally organizing that one junk drawer in the kitchen, or simply tidying up your desk. Star Hansen, a professional organizer who teaches classes on home organizing and has been featured in over 30 TV shows and online series on the subject, believes that organization is a continual process. "Organizing is not a one-and-done task to complete," she says in an article published by NPR news. You have to take the time to "create systems that work for you." Decluttering is an offline, real-world exercise that can have profound effects on your mental health, emotional state, and quality of life. It's a simple yet powerful way to cultivate a positive and nurturing space for yourself. There is something therapeutic, maybe even cathartic about it.
One offline tip that might seem counter-intuitive in this day and age is using a paper planner instead of an online calendar. This practice offers several unsung benefits that can enhance your overall wellness. Writing down tasks, appointments, and notes by hand engages more cognitive processes compared to typing. This can lead to better memory retention and understanding of your schedule and commitments.
Paper planners don't come with notifications, pop-ups, or distractions that online calendars might have. This allows you to plan and think more deeply without the constant interruptions of digital devices. Additionally, relying solely on digital tools can make you vulnerable to technical glitches, crashes, or battery drain. A paper planner serves as a reliable backup for your schedule and important information. Lastly, some people find that the act of writing down tasks and commitments in a paper planner helps reduce anxiety and overwhelm, as it provides a clear visual representation of their responsibilities.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
What part of your life can you move from the digital to the physical realm this Fall to help keep hyper-connectivity at bay?
An accomplished translator and writer, Cami has been in the creative field for nearly two decades. Her experience as a linguist in several fields, paired with her background as a native Latina immigrant (born and raised in Brazil and naturalized American citizen) gives her a unique perspective on the social and cultural context of our society. She has been with Techless since 2022 and currently lives in Michigan with her husband of twelve years, their eight-year-old son, and their puppy Oreo.